In March 2012, the Saving Mothers, Giving Life partners traveled to several of the key districts in Uganda and Zambia to meet with local government officials, healthcare workers, community leaders, and mothers to collaborate on the program and identify solutions. Please view the video below to learn more about their journey and maternal mortality in Africa.

This video was narrated by Christy Turlington Burns, Founder of Every Mother Counts.

Saving Mothers, Giving Life was launched to accelerate the reduction of maternal and newborn deaths in sub-Saharan African countries.


Women and their newborns need a well-functioning health system that can provide services 24/7 by competent providers who have the appropriate equipment, supplies and medicines to conduct normal deliveries, manage complications and/or refer to higher level facilities if needed.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched Saving Mothers, Giving Life in 2012 to test an integrated health systems approach that addresses the “three delays” associated with maternal and newborn deaths: delays in, 1) seeking appropriate care, 2) reaching care in a timely manner and 3) receiving high-quality care at a health facility. This five-year Initiative aims to accelerate reductions in maternal and newborn mortality. Its partners include the governments of Uganda, Zambia, the United States and Norway as well as Merck for Mothers, Every Mother Counts, Project C.U.R.E. and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

The Saving Mothers, Giving Life public-private partnership builds on existing global health and national platforms, including:

  • National health plans and services in Uganda and Zambia
  • The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief’s (PEPFAR) HIV/AIDS efforts and service delivery programs
  • USAID's maternal and child health programs

A cornerstone of Saving Mothers, Giving Life is the global- and country-level partnerships that are designed to maximize the diverse strengths and resources of all the partners to accelerate the reduction of maternal and newborn mortality.

Saving Mothers, Giving Life began with four districts each in Uganda and Zambia that had high rates of maternal and newborn mortality and HIV prevalence. Based on the dramatic success during the one-year “proof of concept” phase, including a 35% reduction of the institutional maternal mortality ratio in both countries, the Initiative is expanding to 12 new districts in Zambia and an additional six districts in Uganda in its second phase.